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The Latest: Ex-NFL player: Brother was calm before shooting

February 26, 2019
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Nouman Raja, center, watches as Judge Joseph Marx talks with prospective jurors for his trial Monday, Feb. 25, 2019 in West Palm Beach, Fla. Raja, a former Palm Beach Gardens police officer, is charged with shooting and killing stranded motorist Corey Jones on Oct. 18, 2015. He is charged with manslaughter by culpable negligence while armed and attempted first-degree murder with a firearm. (Lannis Waters/Palm Beach Post via AP, Pool)

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — The Latest on the trial of a former Florida police officer charged with killing a black motorist (all times local):

1 p.m.

A former NFL player testified that his younger brother seemed calm during a phone call minutes before being fatally shot by a Florida police officer.

C.J. Jones told jurors Tuesday that his 31-year-bother Corey Jones called him just before 3 a.m. on Oct. 18, 2015, to tell him his SUV had broken down as he returned home from a performance with his band. He said he offered to pick up his brother, but his brother said he would wait for a tow truck because he didn’t want to leave his drum set behind.

About 15 minutes later, Corey Jones was killed in a confrontation with then-Palm Beach Gardens officer Nouman Raja, who’s charged with manslaughter and attempted murder.

Prosecutors say an audio recording shows Raja never identified himself as a police officer even though he was in plain clothes and that his “aggressive” actions caused Corey Jones to pull a handgun he legally possessed.

C.J. Jones played wide receiver for the Cleveland Browns in 2003 and 2004 and later briefly played for New England, Seattle and Kansas City. He played for Iowa in college.

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10:15 a.m.

An attorney defending a former Florida police officer charged with the 2015 killing of a stranded black motorist called the shooting “a tragedy” caused by a “perfect storm.”

Scott Richardson told jurors Tuesday that fired Palm Beach Gardens officer Nouman Raja shot Corey Jones because Jones pointed a gun at him twice and he feared for his life. He said Raja could clearly see Jones’ gun along the darkened highway off-ramp because of light reflecting off the barrel.

Earlier, prosecutor Brian Fernandes said in his opening statement that Raja was an “angel of death” whose actions escalated the confrontation, causing the 31-year-old Jones to believe he was a robber and pull his legally possessed handgun.

Raja was working in plain clothes when he drove his unmarked white van the wrong way up the Interstate 95 ramp. Prosecutors say an audiotape shows the 41-year-old Raja never identified himself as a police officer.

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9:45 a.m.

A prosecutor told jurors a former Florida police officer was an “angel of death” for fatally shooting a stranded black motorist during a 2015 confrontation.

Prosecutor Brian Fernandes told jurors in his opening statement Tuesday that fired Palm Beach Gardens officer Nouman Raja’s actions escalated the confrontation, causing 31-year-old Corey Jones to believe he was a robber and pull his legally possessed handgun. That caused Raja to shoot him.

Raja was working in plain clothes when he drove his unmarked white van the wrong way up a darkened Interstate 95 off-ramp. Prosecutors say an audiotape shows the 41-year-old Raja never identified himself as a police officer.

Raja’s attorneys are expected to say in his opening statement he did identify himself and that he shot Jones in self-defense.

Raja is of South Asian descent. He could get a life sentence if convicted of manslaughter and attempted murder.

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2:30 a.m.

Opening statements are expected in the trial of a fired Florida police officer who is charged with the fatal 2015 shooting of a stranded black motorist.

Prosecutors are expected to tell jurors Tuesday that former Palm Beach Gardens police officer Nouman Raja’s actions made 31-year-old Corey Jones confuse him for a robber and pull his legally possessed handgun, causing Raja to shoot him. Raja was working in plain clothes when he drove his unmarked white van the wrong way up a darkened Interstate 95 onramp. Prosecutors say an audiotape show the 41-year-old Raja never identified himself as a police officer.

Raja’s attorneys are expected to argue he did identify himself and that he shot Jones in self-defense.

Raja is of South Asian descent. He could get a life sentence if convicted of manslaughter and attempted murder.

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This story has been corrected to show the defense opening statement was given by Scott Richardson, not Richard Lubin.